Monday, March 30, 2020

Q&A with Quinnipiac commit Seamus Campbell

Seamus Campbell playing at the NAHL Prospects Tournament
Its been a little over two weeks since the surprise end to the NCAA hockey season due to the Covid-19 outbreak in the United States. With no hockey and no sports in general in sight, its a good time to get a Q&A up with one of the Bobcats most recent commits in 2002 born forward Seamus Campbell, a Missouri native who spent this past season with the St. Louis Jr. Blues of the NA3HL. Thank you to Seamus for taking the time out of his schedule to do this interview.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: First off congratulations. What are you emotions like after making this decision to commit to Quinnipiac?

Seamus Campbell: Thank you! I'm very excited to have the opportunity in the future to play for a great program on a great campus. I cannot wait to get there and meet the people.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: Tell us about your overall recruiting experience with Quinnipiac and in general as well?

Seamus Campbell: I first got into contact with Quinnipiac when I was about 14 years old. Since then I’ve stayed in contact with coach Bill Riga about how hockey was going for me in general. He was always there if i had any questions which was amazing.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: Were any other NCAA teams recruiting you as well and if so which ones?

Seamus Campbell: I was talking to Boston University, Boston College and Michigan but I had decided Quinnipiac was the best option as i felt we were farther along in the recruiting process and I could pursue hockey more here.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: Your currently playing the in the NA3HL. Most of the commits that we see across the NCAA rarely come from there. What are some of the reasons you are playing in that league and is part of it due to having the ability to still play high school hockey in Missouri ?

Seamus Campbell: Part of me wanted to play out of state this year and while I know that would have been a great option, I also know that this league was great for preparing me for any future junior leagues. It also was a plus to stay in St. Louis to get a local high school education along with playing high school hockey in my hometown. 
BobcatsHockeyBlog: What are some of the areas of your game that you want to improve upon in the next couple of years of junior hockey in order to prepare for the collegiate level?

Seamus Campbell:  I think the biggest aspect of my game that needs improving is my size. I need to spend most of my time working out and getting bigger and stronger to be able to play at the next level.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: You signed a tender with the Aberdeen Wings of the NAHL. What went into that decision to play in that league next season as opposed to playing possibly the USHL?

Seamus Campbell: I had met coach Lang at the NAHL top prospects weekend and he described to me the team and organization. It all seemed really well rounded and it sounded like I'd be a very good fit for the organization.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: Your father Jim Campbell played a number of years in the NHL for multiple organizations. What did you learn from him growing up that has helped you get to this point of playing Division I hockey in the future ?

Seamus Campbell: My dad had always said to be the best and never give up. He has a saying my friends and I always quote, “score more”, and they tend to exaggerate his Boston accent. We always find a laugh from that. He also taught us from a young age "ELE" (everybody love everybody). So in a sense he taught me to be extremely competitive on the ice and a great friend off the ice. I think anybody in any league can take those sayings into account for themselves.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: You made history as the first active NA3HL player to make the NHL Central Scouting midterm rankings. Have you had a lot of conversations with NHL teams over that course of the season?

Seamus Campbell:  I haven’t talked to any teams yet, but I heard that during the top prospect camp, there was a few teams that came to watch which I’m super stoked about.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: Do you feel any pressure to try to get drafted by a team or are you someone who says if it happens it happens as it’s not the end of the world and it will make you just go to push harder?

Seamus Campbell: I mean I do feel a little pressure because it would be great to get drafted, but if it doesn’t happen wherever I go, I’ll just play the best I can there and see what happens. I will definitely have a "prove them wrong" kind of mentality if I don't get drafted.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: In this day an age you are definitely seeing players drafted in their second and third draft years so there is that there is always next year mentality that you have to have

Seamus Campbell: Definitely. I think everyone should have that type of mentality.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: Who to this point in your life has been your biggest influence to get to this point?

Seamus Campbell: 100% my dad. I wouldn’t be here right now without him.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: What should the Quinnipiac community expect from Seamus Campbell on and off the ice when you arrive?

Seamus Campbell: Off the ice at Quinnipiac, I hope to be a student active in the community. I want to make as many friends as possible because I know they’ll last a lifetime. On the ice, I want to be a player who scores the most goals.

BobcatsHockeyBlog: What does Seamus Campbell like to do when he is not playing hockey?

Seamus Campbell: I have felt I always had pretty good artistic side, so I enjoy to drawing and listening to music. I'm not really one who goes to parties and all that as I think it’s too complicated. I'm always down to hang with my friends and watch movies. But i think when I'm not playing hockey, I am just relaxing and trying not to complicate my life.

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Thursday, March 12, 2020

ECAC Quarterfinal: Quinnipiac vs Princeton

Quinnipiac will face Princeton this weekend if the games do indeed get played
I had my preview with Yale just about done and then the news of the Bulldogs bailing out out of the ECAC tournament forced me to revise in an instant. Quinnipiac has a new opponent this weekend if the games even get played due to the outbreak of the coronavirus with 11th seeded Princeton heading to Hamden after the ECAC had to reseed the tournament awarding byes to Cornell and Clarkson to Lake Placid while Quinnipiac faces Princeton and RPI faces Colgate. The winners will join the other teams in Lake Placid barring a further shutdown of the ECAC Tournament or the NCAA in general. This weekend will be played without fans as the NCAA is limiting crowds to all events.

Broadcast Information: ESPN +

Tale of the Tape:

#3 Quinnipiac Bobcats (#14 USCHO/#17 Pairwise) 21-11-2 (14-6-2 ECAC)
2.76 Goals scored per game (Tied 29th nationally)
2.29 Goals allowed per game (Tied 15th nationally)
18.4% Power Play (Tied 30th nationally)
82.5% Penalty Kill (23rd nationally)
Cleary Cup Championships: (4) 2019, 2016, 2015, 2013
Whitelaw Cup Championships: (1) 2016
NCAA Tournament Appearances: (6) 2019, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2002
NCAA Frozen Four Appearances: (2) 2016, 2013

#11 Princeton Tigers 6-20-5 (2-16-4 ECAC)
2.12 Goals scored per game (56th nationally)
3.22 Goals allowed per game (36th nationally)
21.9% Power Play (16th nationally)
79.4% Penalty Kill (42nd nationally)
Cleary Cup Championships: (0)
Whitelaw Cup Championships: (3) 2018, 2008, 1998
NCAA Tournament Appearances: (4) 2018, 2009, 2008, 1998
NCAA Frozen Four Appearances: (0)

Key Players:

QuinnipiacOdeen Tufto, F (38 points), Wyatt Bongiovanni, F (25 points), Alex Whelan F (24 points), Nick Jermain, F (21 points), Peter Diliberatore, D (21 points), Karlis Cukste, D (18 points) Ethan de Jong (18 points), William Fallstrom, F (17 points), Zach Metsa, D (17 points), Keith Petruzzelli, G (2.01 GAA & .920 save percentage, 3 shutouts)

Princeton: Jackson Cressey, F (22 points), Corey Andonovski, F (19 points), Luke Keenan, F (18 points), Liam Grande, F (15  points), Derek Topatigh, D (14 points), Spence Kersten, F (12 points), Mark Paolini, D (11 points), Jeremie Forget, G (2.79 GAA, .912 save percentage, 1 shutout)

ECAC Playoff History:

First playoff meeting

The Skinny:

This is a match-up that was put together just a few days prior to the start of the Quarterfinals due to Quinnipiac's rival Yale withdrawing over concerns of the coronavirus. While we were all looking forward for a few more games against Yale, Quinnipiac now welcomes the Princeton Tigers who upset Dartmouth last weekend to reach this point. This is a mismatch in terms of talent and records on the ice as Quinnipiac is 15 wins better this season than Princeton which has really struggled since its surprise Whitelaw Cup win two years ago. With not much time to prepare for a new opponent it will be interesting to see how both teams adjust on such short notice.

The Bobcats come into this series fresh off a first round bye, rested and relatively healthy. The status of Jayden Lee isn't known yet but if he is back in the lineup that is a big boost on the back end. Quinnipiac is a deeper lineup with many different players that can beat you. While the offense isn't as potent as it was a year ago it is capable of putting the puck in the net in quick spurts. The Bobcats defense is also rounding into form as they have been strong in their last 10 games only allowing three or more goals twice to Clarkson and RPI both teams still playing this weekend. Sprinkle in the dominance of Keith Petruzzelli and Quinnipiac could easily get hot in the ECAC tournament and win the Whitelaw Cup.

The Tigers come into Hamden with their worst team in four years when they won just five games in Ron Fogarty's second season. Not much has gone right for Princeton this season outside of two upset wins last weekend against Dartmouth on the road. Earlier this season Princeton stunned St. Cloud State and AIC for wins. The other two wins came against lowly St. Lawrence. The Tigers lack the elite scoring they had in past seasons but if there is one thing they can hang their hats on its the power which is a very solid 21.9% on the season. The Tigers will need some breaks and get on the power play in order to have a chance to win this series. The defense has not been good this season allowing 3.22 goals per game but they have been saved at times by the solid play of sophomore Jeremie Forget whose 2.79 goals against and .912 save percentage has been a relief for the Tigers on the back end.

The Prediction:

While Quinnipiac and Princeton played some tight games this season back in December, the Bobcats have been rolling in the second half while the Tigers have struggled all season and needed two overtime wins to reach the ECAC Quarterfinals. The run ends this weekend for the Tigers against a stronger Quinnipiac team.

Qunnipiac in 2

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Tuesday, March 3, 2020

2002 born defencemen Brody Gagno commits to Quinnipiac

Brody Gagno, right, challenges for an in the air puck (photo by Jenna Hauck, The Progress)

The Quinnipiac Bobcats picked up another future verbal commitment when 2002 born defencemen Brody Gagno of the Chilliwack Chiefs announced his commitment via a press release from the Chiefs organization. Gagno, a native of Langley, BC, Canada is a 6'0, 176 pound right shot defencemen who has played the last two seasons in the BCHL for Chilliwack as a 16 and 17 year old respectively.

In 105 regular season games played for Chilliwack, Gagno has 4 goals and 10 assists. In 13 playoffs games has recorded a goal and an assist. Prior to his time with Chilliwack he spent two seasons for the Yale Hockey Program in British Columbia. Gagno was a 2017 6th round pick by the Prince George Cougars in the WHL Bantam draft. This summer will be his first NHL draft eligible season. He is expected to play at least one more season in the BCHL to develop his game prior to his arrival at Quinnipiac. He was a teammate of current Bobcats forward Skyler Brind'Amour during the 2018-2019 season.


Elite Prospects Player Page
BCHL Player Page

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Monday, March 2, 2020

Weekend in Review: Brown/Yale

Quinnipiac once against dominated their Whitney Avenue rivals
The Quinnipiac Bobcats ended the regular season on a high note sweeping the weekend against Brown and Yale to finish 21-11-2 and in third place in the ECAC standings with a first round playoff bye for the second consecutive year. The Bobcats also finished with the 8th 20 win season in the last nine years. The team is also back in position for an at-large berth thanks to some good fortune over the week. Here are my thoughts from the weekend that was.

- I don't know what it is but Quinnipiac has seen some real struggles with Brown over the past two seasons. Both games this year were tight low scoring games with Quinnipiac going 1-0-1 against the Bears. In both of the games they scored just two goals and on Friday night that was just enough to secure the two points. Sophomores Wyatt Bongiovanni and Ethan de Jong got the only two goals that paced the Bobcats offense for the win.

- Quinnipiac more than likely will not see the Bears again this season barring ECAC tournament upsets and that's probably a good thing with the way Brown played Quinnipiac this season along with a year ago as well. The only way for Quinnipiac to face the #9 seed Brown Bears would be for the Bears to beat Colgate along with both #11 and #12 seeds Princeton and St. Lawrence upsetting Dartmouth and Harvard respectively. I just cannot see that happening.

- William Fallstrom was a beast on the face-off dot this weekend winning 24 of 34 opportunities over the two games. Puck possession is key for the Bobcats success and if Fallstrom can continue his dominance on the face-off dot that will bold well for the Bobcats chances in the ECAC tournament. Fallstrom also had the primary assist on Ethan de Jong's game winning goal against Brown on Friday night.

- Speaking of face-off dominance, I am not sure I have ever seen a thrashing like the Bobcats did to Yale on Saturday night. Quinnipiac won 40 face-offs to just 13 for the Bulldogs which helped Quinnipiac establish puck possession in a blowout 5-0 win over their Whitney Avenue rivals. The Bobcats will need that trend to continue as they head into the ECAC playoffs as they look to reach Lake Placid for the first time in three seasons.

Quinnipiac now heads to the ECAC Tournament as the #3 seed

- I'm still stunned at Quinnipiac's continued dominance on the ice against Yale. The win was the 24th all time for the Bobcats over the Bulldogs and Yale has had some good teams over the last decade as well. I just don't get how they don't get up for these games against Quinnipiac not only on the road but at Ingalls as well. This has essentially been a one sided match-up in the last decade and not really a rivalry. But winning the Heroes Hat is of an importance to Quinnipiac and that's why they constantly get up for this game time and time again. Personally I think the rivalry with Cornell is much better and I wish the students would consistently attend that game more as the games have been better, more physical and their has been actual hatred between the teams.

- It was great to see the seniors all contribute to the first goal against Yale on Saturday. Nick Jermain got the goal while fellow seniors Karlis Cukste and Alex Whelan had the assists. All three of these players have played a big role in the Bobcats turnaround from a tough first half of the season. Jermain has put together the best season of his four year career with 21 points and outstanding leadership while Cukste and Whelan continue to show the consistency each and every game. All three will be greatly missed once this season ends.

- Skyler Brind'Amour's goal was a thing of beauty when he undressed Yale's Billy Sweezey with a spin move. While the Bobcats had already blown the game wide open prior to that goal, it was still great to see the talent Brind'Amour brings to the ice. While he only has 4 goals and 13 points this season, I think big things are expected for him and I could see a massive jump in his production from his freshman to sophomore season.

- Speaking of breakout candidates, Zach Metsa has capped a really impressive sophomore season. A year ago he finished with just 4 points in 32 games played mostly as the 7th defensemen or as an occasional forward. This season playing strictly on defense, he has 17 points along with being a plus 9. He has been pretty responsible in his own defensive end and has really helped solidify a young defensive core with fellow sophomore Peter Diliberatore.

- Quinnipiac now has a much needed first round bye. They can get fully healthy and hope to have someone like Jayden Lee back for their unknown opponent in two weeks time. I think the Bobcats need to sweep whatever team comes in because at this point they cannot afford to drop anymore games the rest of the way for at-large consideration.

- It was a really good weekend for Quinnipiac with regards to the pairwise. They began the weekend 18th and finished in 14th. That was a big unexpected jump due to Northeastern getting embarrassingly swept up at Vermont while Western Michigan dropped two games against North Dakota. Maine also lost at Providence while Minnesota lost to Michigan. Practically everything broker Quinnipiac's way except UMass Lowell won both of its games against New Hampshire. Currently Quinnipiac has a 50% chance at the tournament according to the College Hockey News Matrix. 41% is via an at-large berth an 9% is as the automatic qualifier as the champions of the ECAC. The Bobcats have to also get help from other conferences as well and they cannot have any surprise tournament champions.

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